Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Photography & Film

First Advisor

David Williams


My graduate film at Virginia Commonwealth University, "Nunna Mia e la Barca," explores the traditions behind narrative and documentary film construction. With this project, my goal was to blend narrative story telling techniques - for example continuity editing - with that of documentary approaches in order to communicate the story of my Italian grandmother, Nunna, and her journey on the Andrea Doria in 1956. These documentary approaches focus more on the specific details of Nunna's American home as I have experienced them growing up. Everything in the motion picture frame has been lit, composed, rehearsed, and edited as in any fictional film, but the actors are my family and do play themselves and others throughout the piece. Although the work is scripted, the actuality of Nunna being herself and acting out her daily tasks creates a soft merging of fiction and nonfiction that makes the film nearly docudramatic. The docudramatic elements(elements dramatized from a true story) stem from both the biographical information as well as the perception of the abstracted objects in Nunna's house. As in most of my films, my interest lies in the relationship between past and present events and the effect they have on the individual experiencing them. In order for me to tackle the combination of narrative and documentary, I had to define the terms as I understood them to be.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008